Eloise Bridgerton very calmly urging her sister Daphne to get a move on in the first season of Bridgerton.
(Netflix)

I Have To Say It: This Is My Biggest ‘Bridgerton’ Pet Peeve

It’s such a small thing but it irks me immensely.

I can excuse the sparkly dresses and the unchaperoned encounters and string quartet renditions of Taylor Swift hits played during balls, but there’s one thing about Bridgertion that fills me with such unmitigated rage that I simply can’t help but mention it with season 3 now out.

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And that’s the way Bridgerton uses titles. If you’re a Bridgerton fan and currently descending into a Regency London spiral now that season three is finally out, then chances are you enjoy your fair share of period dramas. Honestly, I might be biased here, but there’s truly no better genre than a good period story—the costumes are dreamy, the music cinematic and the romances swoon-worthy. What more could you want?

While some period dramas are undoubtedly more realistic than others, it’s safe to say that their main goal is never to faithfully recreate how life actually was back in whatever historical setting their story takes place. You will always find some adjustments to modern sensibilities, whether it’s in costumes—and there’s many a YouTube video to watch if you’re interested in that—or in societal norms.

And honestly, that’s all grand—after all, we’re here to be entertained. If I wanted to really learn how people lived back in the early 19th century in London I would have watched a documentary rather than looping back Bridgerton for the umpteenth time. That’s also its beauty, in a way—unfiltered and unadulterated escapism of the best kind.

With all that in mind, I fully recognize that this might be a me problem that stems from the many, many Wikipedia black holes I’ve stumbled into and the general hyperfixation that comes from neurodivergence, but I can’t stand the fact that Bridgerton has been consistently wrong in its use of titles. What do you mean Francesca is introduced at court by her mother, the “dowager lady” Bridgerton? What even is a “dowager lady”? She’s the Dowager Viscountess.

And speaking of the Bridgerton family being viscounts, why is everyone in the family except for Anthony not addressed with their proper title? If Anthony is “Lord Bridgerton,” as he should be, it makes absolutely no sense for his sisters to be “Miss Bridgerton.” They are all daughters of a viscount, and so they should have a courtesy title—meaning a title that doesn’t hold any real “power” but signifies a person’s place in a noble family. In this specific case, they should all have “The Honourable” before their name and surname—and so should all other sons besides Anthony, actually.

The same goes for the Featheringtons. If Portia is Lady Featherington and if theirs is a family of barons, then it makes no sense for Penelope to be “Miss Featherington.” She should be “The Honourable Penelope Featherington.”

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington at home in Bridgerton Season 3
The Honourable Penelope Featherington does have a ring to it, I guess. (Netflix)

Again, see Downton Abbey for reference—both Cora and her daughters Mary, Edith, and Sibyl are all addressed as “Lady,” with the difference being that Cora is “Lady Grantham” since she’s the current Countess while her daughters aren’t, and so they’re simply “Lady Crawley.” If you’re wondering why the Bridgerton and Featherington daughters are “The Honourable” but the Crawleys are “Lady,” it’s because viscounts and barons are different from earls. The latter, alongside marquesses and dukes, are the top three ranks of the aristocracy. I know, it’s all very Game of Thrones—but if it tickles your brain just right, then I suggest spending a couple of hours browsing Debrett’s “Essential Guide to the Peerage.”

In the end, of course, a few wrong titles really changes nothing in the grand scheme of a show that has no pretense of historical accuracy—and does nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for it, especially when it comes to this particular season and my beloved Polin. I guess I just love blabbing about my special interests.


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.